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COP21 Update – Sunday, November 29

UNANIMA International is fortunate to have representatives attending the 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris (known as COP21). We will be posting daily updates here on our website. For more information on the Conference, see: http://www.cop21paris.org/

 

NGOs were encouraged to get their official UN entry badges today to avoid the crowds tomorrow, when the largest group of heads of state ever to assemble under one roof—ever—are expected to assemble under one roof.  Over 40,000 people will assemble in the official “blue zone,” including over 20,000 government representatives and staff, and over 10,000 NGOs. This is an unprecedented attendance of over 40,000.  There has never been a ratio of 1 NGO to 2 government representatives before.

We were told that while we are reaching for the stars, we must keep our feet on the ground, regarding security—which is why all events that do not have a secure point of entry had to be cancelled, including the long-awaited Climate March.  Instead, those who brought shoes to march are donating them to an organization who will give them to the poor, and thousands of people in Paris formed a human chain along the proposed route.  The UN and organizers are looking for other ways to help civil society express itself instead of the events planned for outside the “safe zones.”

UN officials praised Parisian and French leaders for their courage in going on with the conference, and the UN head of security explained that the best way to have a safe conference was to have no surprises—they are urging civil society to register any special demonstrations with the UN Secretariat.